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Colorado Avalanche centre Ross Colton (20) vies for control of the puck with Toronto Maple Leafs centre Calle Jarnkrok (19) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto, Jan. 13, 2024.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Nathan MacKinnon scored off the rush late to push the Colorado Avalanche to a come-from-behind 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

After taking a pass from linemate Mikko Rantanen, MacKinnon stopped and set himself to whistle in a shot with 3:25 remaining in the third period to lead the Avalanche (28-12-3) to their ninth win in 11 outings.

The Maple Leafs (21-11-8) lost their second straight before 19,298 at Scotiabank Arena.

The Avalanche arrived in town fourth overall in the NHL to the Maple Leafs’ 10th.

Ross Colton added an empty netter with Toronto goalie Martin Jones on the bench. The visitors outshot the Maple Leafs 33-29.

Colorado overcame a three-goal deficit to tie the game at 7:35 of the third period.

After a power play that generated several chances, Colorado continued to beat the home team to loose pucks in Toronto’s end.

The hard work led to a goal in the high slot from Toronto native Andrew Cogliano.

The Maple Leafs scored three times in the opening period. Max Domi floated in a long-range shot that fooled Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev at 6:23.

Rielly dumped a puck at Colorado defender Devon Toews and then stole the puck back for a breakaway backhand goal.

A loose puck squirted to Maple Leafs defenceman Timothy Liljegren for a 3-0 lead at 15:04. Rielly and Liljegren scored unassisted goals.

The visitors got on track in the second period with a power-play goal from Jonathan Drouin, his 10th. Toronto is a dismal 24th in penalty-killing this season.

Mikko Rantanen pushed Colorado to 3-2 at 13:13. Toronto’s Auston Matthews threw the puck into the middle right to Avalanche defenceman Sam Girard. His shot deflected to Rantanen for his 22nd.

MacKinnon picked on an assist on the Drouin goal to extend his point streak to seven games. The Colorado captain entered the game second in league scoring, two points behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.


With MacKinnon and Matthews already chosen to represent their teams at the 2024 NHL all-star game in Toronto in three weeks, the fans added three more Maple Leafs and Colorado defenceman Cale Makar.

Toronto’s William Nylander finished first in fan voting, followed by Makar in second, Mitch Marner (fifth) and Rielly (seventh).


Maple Leafs: Entertain the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Sharks: Travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Monday.

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